02 August 2013


Monday morning Paul had still not made a decision on which car to purchase and, to be honest, I wasn’t much help. I had given my opinion when he asked and sometimes when he didn’t but mostly I picked cars that were not the Pajero or the Sportage which, like I said, didn’t help. At one point over the weekend, at the end of the day, Paul walked into the living room, stood next to the red leather loveseat’s arm, pointed at me and said, “I am going to ask you a question and I want you to answer really quickly.”

“KIA!” I shouted and he immediately started laughing and walked away. Yeah, I totally called it.

We had decided to go to the dealer Monday morning but, obviously, we needed to figure out which dealer we were going to visit before we left the house. While Paul was in the shower, I made my contribution.

I walked over to the living room desk, ripped a page form his new legal pad, folded and tore eight pieces of paper and then wrote on six of them. Paul’s mom happened to be on the phone when he entered the room so I told her what I had done, made a drum roll sound and told Paul to pick from the pile.

“And the winner is…..” I called.

Paul flipped through his options, pulled two, threw one back on the desk, opened up the paper and then…he made a combination laugh/grumble, crumbled the piece of paper and threw it at my face. “Results hazy. Pick again later.” I’m not going to lie, I was really hoping he would pick that one first.

He pivoted and walked into the other room and I finished up the conversation with Paul’s mom, leaving her hanging on the decision that we had not yet made. A short while later, Paul said he had made a decision. He walked over to the desk, picked up another piece of paper and advised that we were going to buy the Kia Sportage. It was the cheapest, had the longest warranty and was by far the most comfortable and best performing car we drove. Can we go into the highlands with it? No, not likely. Do we ever plan on going into the highlands? No, not really. Deal done.

He opened the paper. It read “Kia Sportage.”

“Done,” I said.

Then he was curious. “Do all of these say Kia?”

“No, of course not,” I replied and he continued to review his options:

  • Mitsubishi Pajero
  • Land Rover
  • Hyundai Tucson (I almost wrote “Vetoed option. Pick again.” But I didn’t)
  • Really Expensive Nissan

He laughed and felt more confident about the decision.

We left the house ready to make a deal but completely confident that Paul could end up changing his mind. I was actually holding out for a wild card – a third car that would pop in out of nowhere and steal the deal – so I wasn’t expecting things to go nearly as smoothly as they did. As we sat in the rental car, ready to head into town, Paul called the competing dealer and advised that we would not be purchasing the Pajero. With no counter offer and no hard sale, that was it. He hung up the phone and we began driving.

“We are here to buy the Sportage,” Paul announced when he saw one of the three people with whom we had been speaking. The man just looked at us for a moment, stood up a little straighter, puffed his chest out, let out a breath and extended an arm. “Congratulations,” he said as he shook Paul’s hand and then mine.

After a few minutes at the desk finalizing the offer letter, we took the paperwork to First Finance, a company that would arrange a novated lease, which allows us to purchase a vehicle through Paul’s company. The lendor will provide full payment to the dealer and then monthly payments are extracted from Paul’s biweekly salary. Once we pay off the car, we own the car but it’s called a lease.

The finance appointment took about 40 minutes. Paul filled out three pages of a detailed application, submitted his local ID and passport and then we were left for more than 15 minutes while the representative went to make copies of the three-page application and his two forms of identification. We were advised that we would be notified as to whether or not Paul would be approved and then we would need to follow a few more steps before we could take possession.

The next morning, Tuesday, we were told that we were approved and that we would be contacted with further instructions. Paul’s colleague was two steps ahead of us and had already been waiting three weeks so Paul began to look into other options.

He inquired about another company, our local bank perhaps and, lo and behold we could. So that afternoon Paul made a phone call to ANZ and after trying a few locations and being told that all of them were closed we, on a last attempt, were advised that the corporate offices upstairs were open and we were directed to the second floor…and then the third.

After some time around a conference room table with a television larger than the one we had in Columbus, the representative had provided both Paul and me and his colleague with quotes for each of the selected vehicles – sans applications.

The quotes included insurance, titles and stickers so all we needed was an additional quote that would include maintenance. By morning we had that. Thursday afternoon the woman from First Finance contacted us about step two in the process but, since we were nearly done with the ANZ deal, Paul told her she was fired. “O.K.”

This morning the paperwork was complete, the money was guaranteed to the dealer and we just needed the registration. In the afternoon we went to the dealer and left with our new Kia, albeit, not a car we would have ever seen ourselves driving.

The car was dusty on the outside and on the inside, the color is not what we were promised and the tinting is not the dark that we requested but hey, Jack, this is PNG so we just had to blow some dust off the outside, wipe the dust off the seats and consoles, ignore the dirt on the floors and drive away knowing that next week we would bring the car back for darker tinting.  

We requested white or a light-colored car due to the heat-producing rays coming off the equator.
They told us this was silver.

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